Achieving Major Milestones at Critchlow Adkins

Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers is kicking off 2024 by celebrating two of their Site Directors, who recently achieved momentous career milestones.  Easton School Age Site Director, Keieve Colbert, marked 20 years of service in February, while this month, White Marsh Site Director, Annetta Biscoe, is commemorating an astounding 45 years as part of the Critchlow Adkins family.

Colbert began her career at Critchlow in 2004 as a teacher’s aide at their Cordova Site.  She quickly fell in love with childcare and pursued her School Age Qualification.  In 2007, she began working at Critchlow’s Easton Preschool Site, and earned her Senior Staff Qualification.  She began teaching pre-kindergarten at the Easton School Age Site in 2011, and became Site Director six years later in 2017.

In addition to being a Critchlow Site Director, Colbert is also a proud Critchlow parent.  All four of her children attended Critchlow Adkins from age two through the 5th grade.  She credits Critchlow with helping them develop the skills they need to be successful, both socially and academically.

Colbert’s approach to childcare stems from her own experiences as a child.

“In elementary school, I was bullied for my hair and glasses,” she shares. “One of my biggest missions is to continue to highlight the importance of mental health.  How you arrive and leave our center each day matters.  I cannot control what happens outside of here, but once you arrive, you are in a safe environment.  It gives my heart joy to know the children come to a place where they are nurtured and have fun-filled learning every day.”

Biscoe’s career began in March of 1979, when Critchlow Adkins was called Easton Day Care.  She worked at the original Easton Preschool Site at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, which had three classrooms at the time.  Biscoe started as an assistant in the 3-year-old classroom, and within 6 months, became the classroom’s managing teacher.  She continued in this role for an incredible 38 years, acting as the site’s Assistant Site Director for 25 of those years.  In 2017, she transferred to the White Marsh Site as the Managing Teacher of the School Age Program, and was then promoted to Site Director.

As one can imagine, a career spanning 45 years comes with many accomplishments, but there are a few that stand out in Biscoe’s memory.  She fondly recalls being named Childcare Teacher of the Year by the Terri Lynn Locoff Foundation, located in Pennsylvania.  Her mother accompanied her to the awards ceremony, which was especially meaningful for her, as her mother passed away later that same year.

Biscoe is also proud to have hosted annual bike-a-thons for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals for more than 20 years.  Over that time, Critchlow students have raised more than $25,000 to support the hospital while learning the importance of helping others.  Another wonderful memory from Biscoe’s time at Critchlow is the annual carnival events she used to host for her families.  She took complete ownership of the event, creating the carnival games, recruiting staff and students to man them, and soliciting and gathering all of the prizes.  It brought her immense joy to see the families having fun together.

Thinking back on her career at Critchlow, Biscoe shares, “I have loved teaching and making a difference in the lives of young children.  As you can imagine, I now have children in my program whose parents I taught.  I am always learning and growing to make the program fun for our children.  We are so successful because of the wonderful staff we have at our White Marsh Site, and I still enjoy coming to work each day to make a difference in the lives of our children and our families as well as our community.”

Critchlow Adkins Executive Director, Cristy Morrell, is thrilled to celebrate Colbert and Biscoe.

“For so many of our teachers to be working at Critchlow for 20 or more years is truly incredible.  It is a wonderful testament to their enduring dedication to the children of this community, and their love for what they do.  It also speaks to Critchlow’s commitment to hiring and nurturing talented, caring educators.  We are able to provide the highest quality care possible because we have the highest quality staff.  We are so very fortunate that Keieve, Annetta, and so many others like them, are part of our Critchlow family!”

Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers is a nonprofit childcare program serving families from across the Mid-Shore through year-round preschool, Pre -K through 5th grade before- and after-school care, and summer camps at five sites located in Easton, St. Michaels, Trappe, and Cordova.  Students engage in educational enrichment programming, including Critchlow’s innovative, literature-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) activities.  These fun projects teach children of all ages to use critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills, and instill in them a love of learning through play.  Critchlow preschoolers participate in the Raising a Reader Program each year.  Every week, students take home a bag of books to read with their family, which helps them to achieve a higher level of literacy and encourages a lifelong love of reading.

All five Critchlow Adkins Sites have earned Accreditation from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) as well as EXCELS (Excellence Counts in Early Learning and School Age Care) Check Level 5 Ratings.  Check level 5 is the highest possible rating awarded to Maryland childcare centers.  These are voluntary processes during which childcare centers undergo rigorous evaluation of their facilities and curriculums.  They are graded based on a number of criteria, including the use of age-appropriate curriculum and multicultural lessons, family engagement, health and safety checks, staff credentials, and classroom observations.

Critchlow Adkins offers exceptional childcare, enrichment programs, and tuition assistance to local families thanks to financial support from individuals, businesses, and foundations on the Mid-Shore. To learn more about Critchlow Adkins Children’s Centers, enroll your child, or make a donation, visit www.cacckids.org or call 410-822-8061.

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